Danny Flexen looks at the decision by David Price to take on Dereck Chisora at three weeks’ notice
I was annoyed when I saw on Twitter (initially) that David Price had stepped in for the ailing Joseph Parker and will now face Dereck Chisora at the O2 on October 26. Irked not because it fails to represent an excellent late replacement (it does) nor due to my seeming inability to check my inbox on a regular basis, but because I had declared just days before that Price would not accept the match.
My certainty on this subject derived from a couple of things. Firstly, and perhaps less important than I believed, the pair shared a sparring session back in and, as I recall, it became, at Chisora’s prompting, a rough, aggressive affair that irtitated Price, not least because he felt the purpose of sparring was to hone one’s craft. I long believed Price, perhaps holding a grudge, would not ’give’ Chisora the fight.
Now, however, a win probably does more for Price than Chisora. Both are on decent runs but Dereck’s is at a slightly higher level and he boasts the greater notoriety, as evidenced by his conviction he should be the main event over Regis Prograis vs Josh Taylor. A lot can be forgiven once doing so is clearly in a fighter’s best interests.
The pivotal issue, however, and the one that truly convinced me that Liverpool giant Price would demur, was the narrative he has been pushing for around a year now. You can see it in several interviews we have done with him. He has insisted, many times over, that he is only really interested, at this stage in his career, in fights in which he is the favourite, at least in David’s own estimations. This is why, he explained, Price rejected fights with Joe Joyce and Daniel Dubois. Taking on Chisora, who was always on this show, at around three weeks’ notice in the latter’s hometown, seems to go against that philosophy. The bookies sure think so, providing short odds on the Londoner.
However, in espousing this credo, Price typically offered a caveat. That if he was an underdog, he would demand a purse that adequately reflected the increased risk. Given he has stepped in so late on, for a Sky Sports Box Office show, and can make an, admittedly arguable, claim to have ’saved’ a ppv show that is potentially lucrative for all involved, one imagines Price is pocketing serious money.
Not only that, Price has mentioned on a few occasions how much he enjoys the security and exposure derived from his lengthy association with Matchroom, who promote on the 26th. He will doubtless not want to let them down and will likely have been reassured that, should it not go his way in a few weeks, his bold act will not be forgotten and he will be brought back.
In this context, you can see why Price, an eminently sensible man, weighed up the pros and cons, and took the decision to step in. Let’s hope it proves judicious.